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Emerald Lake Trail

MODERATE 8 reviews
#6 of 17 trails in

Emerald Lake Trail is a 6.8 mile loop trail located near Columbia-Shuswap A, BC and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.8 miles 1190 feet Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly




whitewater kayaking

cross country skiing

horseback riding

Think Lake Louise without the crowds and with better chances of seeing North American wildlife. This trail is the Rockies at its best. It combines a circuit of a green glacial lake surrounded by mountains, with a diversion to Emerald Basin through forests and avalanche chutes to see the glacier that created it all. In the warmer months, you can add canoeing to the activity list. The hiking will be more limited in winter, but you have skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing options to make up for it. The trail as moderate because of some steep sections in the climb to Emerald Basin, but you can just stick to the lake circuit if you want an easier level stroll. The hike to the basin is rewarding not just for the views - it also gets you up close with friendly colonies of ground squirrels and marmots. It is popular by Yoho standards, but you are not going to get the pedestrian traffic jams of nearby Lake Louise or Banff. The good news is that even on busy summer days, most Emerald Lake visitors don't venture too far from the car park at the start of the trail to capture their photo opportunity. And once you are off the lake circuit, the basin trail feels like true wilderness.

11 days ago

12 days ago

Fabulous Hike. I was able to take epic pictures all throughout the trail. We did the trail around the lake and would recommend it to all skill levels.

14 days ago

24 days ago

This beautiful lake is very underrated, due to its close proximity to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. But, for me personally, I liked this lake slightly more than Moraine Lake because of the hiking trail that goes completely around the lake, which Moraine Lake and Lake Louise don't have. Also, this is a good trail to take to escape a lot of loud, annoying tourists, which can be found all over Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

25 days ago

Beautiful trail and views!!!

1 month ago

1 month ago

Did not do the whole trail but did walk on the NW side of the lake, Gorgeous views!

1 month ago

I advise you to quickly move from crowded sides of the lake to catch an breathtaking view from the yoho Valley pass! The trail begins very flat and gets steeper the more you reach the pass